"The Interior of the Blue Mosque" Blue Mosque - Sultan Ahmed Mosque Tip by nicolaitan

by nicolaitan
  • The Interior of the Blue Mosque - Istanbul
  • iznik tiles - Istanbul
      iznik tiles
    by nicolaitan
  • the elephant foot columns - Istanbul
      the elephant foot columns
    by nicolaitan
  • The Interior of the Blue Mosque - Istanbul
  • The Interior of the Blue Mosque - Istanbul

The massive interior of the Sultan Ahmet Camii is dominated by the huge pillars supporting the domed roof, the exquisite blue tiles after which the mosque is named, and innumerable stained glass windows flooding the central area with light ( and making photography difficult in the morning hours - the pulpit and carved marble mihrab images simply did not work ). Each of the domes contains between 12 and 24 windows as well. These windows originally were of 17th C Venetian glass, but no longer. Chandeliers add to the overall light feeliing of the great room, contrasting with the dark rooms of the Ayasofia. Even the huge mobs of tourists could not detract from the beauty of this prayer room.

The mosque is named for the blue coloring in over 20000 handmade ceramic Iznik tiles featuring over 50 tulip designs as well as abstract patterns, trees, and other flowers. Ottoman emperors, like many European rulers, favored Chinese porcelain for collection, so cities like Iznik imitated these works. Unable to create porcelain, their potteries and tiles were comprised mostly of silica with some glass and clay. The Iznik designers were more innovative than others and became the favorites of the sultans, with their tiles finding their way into many palaces and mosques commissioned by Suleyman, his wife Roxelana, and by the grand vizier Rustem Pasa ( who commissioned my favorite mosque - see tip below ) including the Topkapi Palace. Originally the source of many kinds of decorative pottery, Iznik eventually devoted itself almost entirely to making tiles for the sultans and viziers. As the Ottoman Empire declined, the sultans fixed prices for the tiles in a weak economy, and the quality of the tiles and other decorative pieces deteriorated after the 17th Century.

Iznik is an old city - its name derives from Nikaia, the wife of Lysimakhos, who ruled Anatolia after the death of Alexander the Great.

Address: Sultanahmet district
Phone: +90 212 518 13 19
Website: http://www.sultanahmetcami.org/

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Mar 14, 2009
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